Permalink 01:30:00 pm by cassie, Categories: Announcements [A]

It's coming to that time of year wherein I reflect back on the early into late sunshine of summer days and pronounce it either good or satisfactory. I've never had a truly Bad summer, but some are better than others, for sure. Some people wait until Thanksgiving to lay it all out in their brains, but me - once the leaves start to orange and redden I start to be so appreciative of everything. I love warming up by the oven, baking or roasting something that is healthy but seems better than all the summer's ice cream stops. I love sweaters and hoodies and dark jeans and boots. I love the first cup of purchased hot coffee, steaming and handed to me over the counter. It all feels so cozy and inviting. I loathe the winter so this just seems like one of those seasons where you have to take life by the horns and just soak it all in before the edge turns a little too cold for comfort. So I'm thankful. Writing my yearly thankfulness post a bit early is year, since my heart is bursting today. Today, this year, right now, I am thankful for these things:

A husband working from home for the day
New yellow paint on my bedroom walls
Air conditioned nights in the summer, cold sunny mornings each autumn
Muffins baking and warming the house
Two kids who could eat seven muffins a piece
A family next door
A family in Virginia
Friends a drive away and a friend an ocean and several puddle jumpers away
Kids napping on the couch, drooling into my new pillows
Two jobs that pay the bills, money to spare
A house so full of things that I can give them away and never miss any of it
Road trips holding Mark's hand
Quiet, short, evening drives while the kids sleep in the back seat
Boxes of clothes, mailed up each season, for the kids from my in-laws
Apple picking
County fairs
Handfuls of acorns, rocks, sticks, and trash collected as Treasure by my kids
A clean house
Stepping out of the shower and into clothes hot from the dryer
Mailed letters and packages
A daughter in clothes baggy on her scrawny frame
A son with a potbelly and serious eyebrows
A late evening after work with pizza shop subs, a movie, and a glass of wine
Rocking chairs and afghans
Reading plans, clean lined notebooks, new books
A midday text from Mark
Mark. Amelia. Elias.

Another year around the sun. Another day. Another minute. Existing. I don't always know how to grab hold of it all and treasure it as it occurs. I wish I did. I write it down and try to memorize each feeling that passes so I don't forget what I have lived, the sweetness of my kids slowly and innately learning language, recognizing instances of intense compassion and kindness in them amidst the selfishness of childhood, the rush of love that floods through my chest and down to my fingertips when I see my husband's face through the screen door each evening, the mornings we wake sandwiched between two sweating, snoring babies and all their stuffed animals when we had gone to bed alone... And those are only the good moments I try to retain. There are also heartbreaking, angry, selfish moments I hold on to so as not to repeat them again, equal in significance. And as I sit here in the sunny cool of my yard, watching my little ones pad around in the grass barefoot, collecting piles and piles of acorns, munching messy pears down to the stem as they investigate in their own little worlds, all of it looks so utterly benign in significance but to me, so heavy laden with love and beauty I can barely stand it. Pause! Please, oh please, just slow this earth's rotation for one extra second. The most precious second I have ever lived. Each of them is. May I never waste one moment of it.


Permalink 12:21:00 pm by cassie, Categories: Announcements [A]

So facebook statii are fun for quick quips but this morning truly deserves to be expounded upon. Backing up to yesterday, I woke up at 5AM, as I do most every mornings, after yet another night of my snorting four month old waking up and giving me the stink eye all night. This is nothing new. I got through the day fine and worked a short shift from 7p-11p last night. I got home and ended up staying awake for another half an hour with Mark, who was finishing up some work for the evening. I was in bed at 1230 and right as I lay my head down on the blessed pillow, this child came alive. I caught a few hours in between 2 and 5AM and got up with the alarm and both of the kids who also got up at 5:15 (HOW DO THEY KNOW???). I chugged a cup of tea and went about my day. By then I had amassed some steam so I threw in a load of laundry, did the dishes and put a load of dishes in the dishwasher, made french toast and an omelet for Amelia and I to eat for breakfast, and then sat down for a few minutes before I needed to get things together to go out to meet my friend Grace and her kids for lunch and a movie. I sat for five minutes before I smelled a suspicious burning smell. The dishwasher was the offender, and when I opened it up on the drying cycle, there was my favorite spatula melting quietly on the heating element at the bottom of the washer. Lovely. The house smells awesome now.

After scraping off the melted plastic, I gave up on sitting down and made myself some coffee to take with me and gathered up all the stuff I needed for going out. I changed both kids into presentable clothing, new diapers, and buckled the baby into his carseat carrier, which is totally just inconvenient anyhow because he's huge and it's unwieldy and too heavy for me to carry comfortably. Just when I picked up the seat, he gave me this quizzical look and I suddenly had a very bad feeling. I said, "Don't you poop!" and just as I said it, he let loose with an extended pooping sequence. Again, HOW DO THEY KNOW?? I yanked him out of the carseat as quickly as I could and narrowly missed another blowout before I changed him again and packed him up.

We all made it outside to the car and I had nearly clipped his seat into the car when Amelia announced, "Mom, I'm really chilly!" I looked down at her. She was wearing a jacket. It was 50 degrees out. Then I saw her feet. Her bare feet.

Third time's a charm. We went back inside to get her boots on, and on my way down the steps, I fell onto both my knees in the driveway while carrying Elias. He didn't even bump and got gently set down in the grass in his carrier while Amelia stood gaping and I silently warded away many of the bad words I've heard in the course of my life from coming out of my mouth. I had ripped the last pair of jeans that actually fit me in my post-pregnancy limbo, Amelia's stuffed dog that I had also been carrying had flown out of my hand and onto the lawn, and I had broken the hood of the baby carrier as it caught on my belt when I fell. Amelia just stood there bemoaning the displaced stuffed puppy. You carry them for what? Ten months? And all they worry about is their stuffed dog. Just warning you now that someday your precious little newborn infant who you *think* believes you're, like, the awesomest thing ever is going to turn two and a half and you're going to beef it in the driveway, your dignity shredded just like the bleeding left knee of your jeans, your teeth gritted and back thrown out, and your precious, precious baby is going to be extremely concerned about that ratty old stuffed dog getting a piece of dust on it.

I got up after a minute trying to recoup my own personal moment of peace and muttered what was likely a selfish prayer that nothing else zany happen for a little while, at least, buckled everyone in, and drove right to a Dunkin Donuts, where I ordered a large and very soothing almond flavored coffee. And everything was strangely better after that.


Permalink 09:25:00 am by cassie, Categories: Announcements [A]

That I am content in all things, but with one piece of news, I am kept awake for nights on end, burning with coveting for things I will probably never have? I am thankful I feel like I can live with very little to be happy, but sometimes the things I covet the most are not material. This is problematic.


Permalink 08:18:00 am by cassie, Categories: Announcements [A]

"Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled." Heb 12:15

Life is a never ending up and down cycle, only with no schedule to the events, no warning about the next downslope or upswing. Sometimes an upswing lasts for days or months, sometimes there are both ups and downs over the course of the day. I hate the unexpectedness of my emotions. I wish I were more stoic.

Why God or anyone chose me to love, I will never know. I am full of all things unsavory, weeping bitterness while I thank the Lord for my blessings, the embers of my anger left smoldering quietly in the back of my heart as I go about my daily business. I choke off the weeds of bitterness, but only on the surface where they're visible. I leave the roots to rest in the cold, and when the warm opportunity of my temper coaxes them up, I turn a blind eye. This is who I am inside, world. Maybe someday I'll pull them up. I'm still not sure why this is so difficult for me.

Some people spend a lot of time asking, "Why me?" and I may ask that for them as well - some people I truly do wonder Why. But I never wonder it of myself. I know exactly why. I am so stubborn that without something goading me for years on end, I never change, never grow. I've been at this journey for fifteen years now and I'm still needing this baby steps business to help me get along. So that's why. No surprise there. Just surprised I'm still in this spot all these years later. Still mucking along. Still learning.


Permalink 05:37:00 pm by cassie, Categories: Announcements [A]

...A long day of work capped off with a long delayed train ride home late into the evening is over, and Mark is still in his jacket, hat, and shoes, kneeling by Amelia's bed, laughing and reading her endless repeats of her Mercer Mayer book. Some perfect moments are only made perfect by the comedy of errors that precedes them.

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I like to multi-task: wife, writer, nurse, Christian, ne'er do well. I do all with equal gusto.


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